Scoping literature reviews
Another type of literature review is a scoping review, which includes information from journal articles, textbooks and grey literature (Peterson et al. 2017), such as government reports and policy documents.
The aim of a scoping review is usually to summarise a broad topic.
How does it differ from a systematic review?
Systematic reviews tend to focus on a specific question while scoping reviews cover broader topics and sources (Arksey and O’Malley 2005). This means that scoping reviews are less in-depth by comparison.
Peterson et al. (2017) also highlight the flexibility of scoping reviews, compared to systematic reviews, as different types of literature can be included in the former.
|Pros of scoping literature reviews||Cons of scoping literature reviews|
|Provide a comprehensive overview of newer topics.||The quality of studies is not assessed in a scoping review.|
|Allow for assessment of the feasibility of a systematic literature review within the topic.||Relevant studies may not be included without a systematic approach to selecting studies.|
|Consider a range of sources.||Screening all relevant literature can be time-consuming.|
|Lack of depth in the summary of findings.|
Arksey, H., and O’Malley, L. (2005) ‘Scoping Studies: Towards a Methodological Framework’. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 8 (1), 19-32
Peterson, J., Pearce, P.F., Ferguson, L.A., and Langford, C.A. (2017) ‘Understanding Scoping Reviews: Definition, Purpose, and Process’. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 29 (1), 12-16
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